Gov. Edwards, Col. Edmonson in D.C. for talks about improving police-community relations

Gov. Edwards, Edmonson going to D.C. for talks over improving police-community relations

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson spent more than four hours at the White House participating in a discussion about ways to improve police-community relations.

The pair was part of a conversation about bridging the divide between law enforcement and communities. Representatives from around the country were brought in by President Obama to participate in the talks. They include both law enforcement and community activists.

The hope for the talks is to start a conversation about "ways we can keep people safe, build community trust, and ensure justice for all Americans."

"The bad news is, as we saw so painfully this week, that this is a really hard job. We're not there yet. We're not even close to being there yet. Where we want to be," Obama said.

The talks are due to Black Lives Matter protests happening around the nation in response to the shooting death of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as the mass shooting at a Dallas rally that resulted in the death of five police officers.

Edwards released the following statement after the meeting:

"From the beginning, I have called for all Louisianans to come together so that we can emerge from this tragedy stronger than we were. I continue to believe that is not only possible, but it is a critical step in uniting our community, state, and nation. That means we all have to do our part. Law enforcement officers must carry out their sacred duty to protect and serve in a way that earns the trust of our communities. At the same time, all Louisianans must make their voices heard in a constructive way that brings us closer together and makes true progress a reality. That is how we honor the lives of Alton Sterling and the police officers who lost their lives in Dallas. I am proud of the work of law enforcement and the overwhelming number of citizens who want their voices heard in a peaceful manner, and I look forward to continuing this dialogue in the weeks and months ahead."

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.